Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of the Southwest Region Recognizes Dedicated, Exemplary Employees

Employees of the Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of the Southwest Region (VNAHSR) took center stage at the Equinox Hotel for the agency’s annual employee award celebration. The yearly event recognizes employees who have reached years-of-service milestones and highlights employees for specific awards: the Employee of the Year, Unforgettable Employee and HEALTH Matters Award Winners.

This year, 41 employees received special milestone recognition with Donna Chapin, Billing System Specialist and Sandra Tice, RN, Transitional Home Care Coordinator honored as 35-year employees; others included: one 30-year award; four 25-year; two 20-year; six 15-year; eight 10-year and 18 five-year.

Homecare and Hospice nurse, Whitney Brooks was named VNAHSR’s Employee of the Year; and Claire McCaughy, Sarah Lees, Scott Tommola, Christina Crawford, Donna Bizon and Kim Berard were honored as the HEALTH Matters award winners. Physical Therapist Karol Sowulewski was recognized with the Unforgettable Awards.

The Employee of the Year is selected from nominations submitted by their colleagues based on their commitment to exceeding expectations in their work and in support or comfort of patients and their families. The HEALTH Matters awards are selected from a monthly recognition program, and awards recipients who emulate the core values of Honesty, Excellence, Accountability, Leadership, Teamwork, and Helpfulness.

Harry Snyder, Director of Human Resources, and a 10-year honoree personally presented gifts of appreciation to longtime employees and announced the winners. The celebration is held each May during the organization’s week long celebration to recognize employees and for years of service and for outstanding performance.

Whitney Brooks, RN Recognized as Employee of the Year

The Employee of the Year Award recognizes an employee whose work exemplifies the values of respect and dignity of the individual, excellence, honesty and fairness, stewardship of resources, and teamwork. Earning the award this year is Whitney Brooks, RN a homecare and hospice nurse. In her role, Whitney was honored as a patient advocate, an exceptionally skilled nurse, and a mentor.

In her nominations as Employee of the Year, several people noted Whitney’s outstanding attitude, “Whitney rises each day ready to take on whatever may come her way. She treats her patients with no preconceived expectations; she simply meets each of her patients where they are at. She is compassionate and knowledgeable and treats each patient as her own. She is an outstanding example of a nurse.”

Brooks is also a lacrosse coach at Mount Anthony Union High School.

“The dedication and patient-focused commitment shown by our employees is an inspiration. All of our employees, no matter where they work in the organization, have the opportunity to have a positive impact on the care we provide our patients,” said Ron Cioffi, CEO of the VNAHSR. “We are honored that each of them, especially those honored at our recognition dinner, joins us in our mission and commitment to the health of our communities.”